Sigh, it looks like Apple’s habit of squeezing iPod accessory manufacturers for license fees has now extended to freaking headphonesiLounge is reporting that the new iPod shuffle can only be controlled by headphones with a special hardware authentication chip. That means that third parties will have to pay Apple for the privilege of making shuffle-compatible accessories, and you can bet they’ll just pass that cost right on to consumers — we wouldn’t expect any cheap headphone adapters or inexpensive replacement headphones for this thing. iLounge calls this a “nightmare scenario” for iPod fans, and we’re inclined to agree — it’s one thing for Apple to require the Made For iPod certification for accessories that interface with the dock connector, but trying to lock down headphones is a sad new low, and it makes the lack of physical controls on the shuffle seem even more ridiculous. Anyone still planning on buying this thing?

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Third-party iPod shuffle headphones will require Apple-licensed authentication chip originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 15 Mar 2009 21:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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